So, where should we hold out wedding? We're split geographically by the Atlantic, but it didn't take long for us to decide on Costa Rica as the location. My (now) husband is Costa Rican, and my family are more able to travel - some of his family don't even have passports. We wouldn't consider holding the ceremony without both families being there, so Costa Rica it was. Hmmm... Hard choice?! ;)
Costa Rica is a bigger country than it may seem. Not sure where it is? Check out 'W is for WHERE IS COSTA RICA?!' on my travel blog. There's so many different 'zones', if you like, to the country: the humid north, the popular resorts of the north west, the more rustic Caribbean coast, the mountains and the beaches. We chose a beach location (I'm a real beach bum!), and went for the east coast (Caribbean) as we've had a couple of nice, chilled holidays out there - one of our favourite parts of the country. The west coast is much more commercial and more of a surfer-dude location. We're not surfers, and we are not enormous fans of chain hotels, so we went rustic.
Choosing a venue for the ceremony was a bit harder to decide on. We wanted a hotel with easy beach access and a pool. We were playing host to 12 family members for a couple of nights, so we wanted everything to be included when we booked our stay for minimal fuss and maximum fun. We approached 20 different hotels over a three week period, and only two, sadly, got back to us. Where are these hotels' business heads?! We were here, ready to make a booking, and spend some serious bucks at their location. But well, this is Costa Rica! Many places didn't even have a website...
We also wanted a place where we were not surrounded by other tourists, and with enough space for the two families to hang out with or without each other. This was, after all, the first time they'd meet. That's another story!
We eventually went for Perla Negra (Black Pearl), a small hotel with apartments attached, a bar, a pool and beach front facing, walking distance into the town - perfect for our families. We had our... difficulties, shall we say, in planning our wedding at this venue, namely the owners falling out with each other... but all in all it worked out just fine. Beautiful, in fact. I did have some low expectations as a result, but Jessica (our wedding coordinator) and her team astounded us with the thought and lovely extras which went into our stay.
I used to laugh at people who said their wedding day was the best day of their life. Ridiculous, when you think the average person has over 24,000 days to choose from. However, now, I get it. All the planning, all the expenditure, the family time, all the food and good feeling... It was the best day I could images. If I could summarrise with just one word it would be FUN. Our wedding was fun, which is, I like to think, how Roberto and I enjoy our lives. We try to have fun. Sure, there were hiccups (scrraggy dog in the photos, a last minute time change of the ceremony - bringing it forward to avoid possible rain - one of the readings being left pinned to a fridge back home, the 'lawyer' who forgot the ring exchange part of the ceremony, the rubbish translator, me almost having a dress covered in leaf cutter ants), but I remembered my Grandma's advice: Something ALWAYS goes wrong at a wedding. There's so much involved, it can't all go without a hitch! (No pun intended).
Even with the things which went a bit wrong earlier in the day, I didn't care. I was there, getting married to my best friend, with my family present. I wouldn't change a thing and hope to have every day of my life with a little memory popping into my head to make me smile.
If we'd have gone anywhere else, the whole wedding would have been different. I can't imagine it better and I wouldn't want it worse. Our wedding was spot on.
Find out more about Costa Rica from my A-Z of the country on Born to be a Tourist!
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